David N. Kershaw Award


Introducing the 2018 Recipient: David J. Deming, Harvard University

David_DemingHarvard University professor David J. Deming has been selected to receive the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize for his contributions to the field of public policy analysis and management. Deming, a professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and professor of education and economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will receive the award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) at its Fall Research Conference on November 8-10, 2018, in Washington, DC.

Professor Deming has conducted extensive research in the areas of secondary education and employment training and job skills. Deming co-directs the Harvard Inequality and Social Policy program at the Kennedy School’s Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and helped to establish the Collegiate Leaders in Increasing MoBility (CLIMB) Initiative, a partnership between colleges and universities, policymakers, and researchers that seeks to better understand higher education’s role in facilitating social mobility.

“David’s work embodies APPAM’s mission to improve public policy through research and analysis that moves the needle on our biggest social challenges,” said APPAM President-elect and Mathematica vice president Matthew Stagner. “His research on the importance of education and training has not only advanced our collective understanding of the issues at play, but his approach through CLIMB highlights the role researchers can play in finding real-world solutions, as well.”

Deming is the 19th winner of the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize, established to recognize young professionals under the age of 40 who have made distinguished contributions to the field of public policy. The award, consisting of commemorative medal and cash prize, is offered every other year. Past winners include Alan Krueger of Princeton University and Esther Duflo of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

David N. Kershaw, for whom the award is named, was the first president of Mathematica Policy Research, a nonpartisan policy research firm dedicated to uncovering insights that improve public well-being. The award and prize, first presented in 1983, is made possible by a memorial endowment established in Kershaw's honor after his death from cancer at the age of 37. It is among the largest and most prestigious awards to recognize contributions related to public policy and social science.

Deming will deliver a Super Session talk entitled, “What Does Education Do?” at the APPAM Fall Research Conference on Friday afternoon, November 9, at 3:15 pm. Deming will then receive the award during the Presidential Address and APPAM Awards beginning at 5:00 pm. All conference attendees are welcome to join both the Super Session and the Presidential Address, as well as the Presidential Reception at 6:30 pm.

About the Award

The David N. Kershaw Award and Prize is offered every other year if a suitable recipient is identified. The award was established to honor persons who, at under the age of 40, have made a distinguished contribution to the field of public policy analysis and management. It consists of a commemorative medal and a cash prize of $10,000. This prize is among the largest awards made to recognize contributions related to public policy and social science.
David Kershaw was the first president of Mathematica Policy Research; he died of cancer at the age of 37. Funding for the award comes from a memorial endowment established following the death of David N. Kershaw and managed by independent trustees.
A nominee must be under the age of 40 at the time the nomination is made (but not necessarily at the time the award is bestowed). A person may be nominated again if not selected for the current award. Any body of work will be considered, although the selection committee may, from time to time, decide to establish time limits for what may be considered. The selection committee may decide not to make an award in any particular year. Joint awards for a single contribution will be considered where the  contribution can be clearly identified and attributed.
Nominations may be made by any individual or organization. (Individuals may nominate their own work.) The letter of nomination (with the nominee's current address, email address, and phone number) should include a nominating essay, the c.v./resume of the nominee and written evidence of the nominee's contribution in the form of an article, book, report or other appropriate evidence. The latter requirement is to provide convincing evidence of the nominee's responsibility for the contribution identified. Nominations should be emailed to Paul Decker, President, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. at kershaw2018@mathematica-mpr.com or sent by regular mail at PO Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393, or by delivery service at 600 Alexander Park, Princeton, NJ 08540.
According to the rules governing the award endowment, the selection committee always consists of the president of Mathematica Policy Research, the president of APPAM, and the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Prior Award Recipients

The prior winners, and their institutional affiliations at the time they won the award are as follows:
  • 1st award: Joseph Newhouse (Rand Corporation)
  • 2nd award: Lee Friedman (University of California at Berkeley)
  • 3rd award: David Ellwood (Harvard University)
  • 4th award: Deborah Freund (Indiana University)
  • 5th award: Katherine Swartz (Urban Institute)
  • 6th award: Rebecca Blank (Northwestern University)
  • 7th award: John DiIulio (Princeton University)
  • 8th award: Alan Krueger (Princeton University)
  • 9th award: Jonathan Caulkins (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • 10th award: James Hamilton (Duke University)
  • 11th award: David Cutler (Harvard University)
  • 12th award: Carolyn Heinrich (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • 13th award: Jens Ludwig (Georgetown University)
  • 14th award: Brian Jacob (University of Michigan) 
  • 15th award: Esther Duflo (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • 16th award: John MacDonald (University of Pennsylvania)
  • 17th award: Donald Moynihan (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • 18th award: Varun Rai (University of Texas at Austin)
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